the girl with the dragon tattoo

the girl with the dragon tattoo
Yes, I have a dragon tattoo as well

Δευτέρα, 1 Αυγούστου 2016

A solitary romance - Violet Sparks interview

A very fresh, interesting and sweet romance novel is out these days. It's called "A SOLITARY ROMANCE" and it was written by Violet Sparks. Check it out! Here is an interview with the author herself. I think you will find this inspirational. Enjoy!

Do you have a specific writing style?
I generally write in the third person limited or omniscient style.  I have to say, I begin by the seat of my pants and allow my characters full reign.  About one-third to half-way through the book, I'll sit down and outline the rest of the novel to keep things on track.  At this point, I've got a good idea where all the personalities will end up.

How did you come up with the title?
The main character, Katrina Crimshaw, is a jewelry aficionado.  She runs into a man from her past, someone she found incredibly attractive but was too shy to pursue.  I combined the idea of a solitaire ring, representing her love of jewels, with the loneliness that sometimes accompanies someone who is fearful or shy, and came up with A Solitary Romance.

What books have most influenced your life most?
The Bible has had the biggest impact on my life.  The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk who lived in the 1600s, is an amazing book that I can read over and over.  Coming Out of the Ice by Victor Herman also affected me—it's a wonderful tribute to the human spirit.  I can't leave out the books by Dickens, Austen, and the Brontë sisters, which I read in my youth.  Their works definitely lent an idealism to my mindset (which does not seem to belong to this century!), and shaped my ideas of what romance and love should be.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice to other writers is to keep on writing!  Find a good editor you enjoy working with and don't rush your writing process.  Read and write as much as possible and do not allow others to discourage you.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?
I've always loved how Charles Dickens could weave a story together with unforgettable characters and intersecting plots.  I appreciate how he inserted humor in his books as well.  I admire the way William Faulkner packed a punch and how the Brontës created amazing atmospheres, including unexpected twists in their stories.  The contemporary author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, is a master of characters, atmosphere, and storylines.

What genre do you consider your book(s)?
A Solitary Romance is a sweet, or clean and wholesome, romance.  It is book one of the Only Love Series, which currently consists of three books.  I have also written mysteries under a pen name.

Do you ever experience writer's block?
I haven't yet had a serious writer's block.  With every book, I do come to a place where I just have to grind out the story.  I don't particularly enjoy this part of my writing process, but I've yet to escape this phase.  Luckily, it only lasts for a chapter or two, and then I'm over the hump.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?
I would not say that I've hated any of my work.  Anything can be polished, rewritten, examined with a fresh eye, or edited for improvement.  I do go through some fear each time I start a new book.  Will I be able to come up with anything funny?  Can I do the characters justice?  Will unnecessary details hinder the story?  In other words, how can I possibly pull this off?

What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
I cannot pick a favorite a genre.  All of my books have at least a hint of romance, so maybe that's my top choice.  The Only Love Series is straight-up romance, although the third book, A Calculated Romance, has a touch of suspense and mystery.  I like to incorporate a twist or even several unexpected events in my novels, so that's a theme to look for.

Where did your love of writing come from?
I have always loved storytelling.  My mother used to catch me as a toddler making up stories for my own entertainment.  She fostered my love of writing by introducing me to classic literature in grade school, and I won writing awards as a teen.  Then, life and career got in the way.  I always hoped to return to writing, and the encouragement of a friend got the ball rolling for me.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part of penning A Solitary Romance was just taking the plunge.  I experienced a personal loss around the time that the idea started to sprout.  I think this book provided a much needed distraction during those first, early stages of grief.  With its overall light tone, the writing allowed me a welcome reprieve from reality.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
A Solitary Romance is ever so slightly autobiographical.  I enjoyed reliving my early career days and the fun I had with one of my girl pals.  Also, because everything in the book felt familiar, it required little research.  I appreciated how my writing could flow without stopping to investigate other subjects.  Because I love the arts, I savored drawing on my experiences at a major auction house.  There's a scene in the book where a character helps her friend squeeze into a gown in a dressing room by very creative means.  This actually happened, and my friend managed to fit me in that tight, red dress by the same method!  Just thinking about that little episode brings a smile to my face!

Do you write every single day?
I find I produce my best work when I am writing every day.  I aim to write six days a week, although I've slipped off a little this summer since my children are out of school.

Which writers inspire you?
So many authors inspire me.  At the top of the list are Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, the Brontës, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Irène Némirovsky for her spectacular, unfinished, Suite Française.  I went through a stage where I only read history or biographies, and I greatly admire the work of David McCullough.  His books read like novels and bring the people of the past alive.  I always appreciate any writer who can surprise me with a plot twist or unexpected outcome.

What are you working on at the minute?
I am beginning the research for a novel set in the medieval period.

What is your latest book about?
My latest book is third in the Only Love Series, A Calculated Romance.  This is the story of Katrina's assistant, a young rock hound named Landi, and what happens when her path crosses with that of James Crimshaw.  James is featured in the first three books of the series.  He is Kate's brother and a naval intelligence officer.  Both he and Landi have murky pasts and a strong attraction to each other.

Παρασκευή, 20 Μαΐου 2016

The Guy With The Suitcase - Book Review

"Pierce is homeless; young and strong-willed Pierce has been living in the streets of New York City for six months, since his parents kicked him out of their perfect, Christian, suburban house. Pierce is gay. And he is suffering the consequences for being true to himself.  Rafe is homeless; he is also sick. Impressionable, but far from innocent, Rafe ran away from home almost a year ago. His sickness is slowly killing him. But Rafe is not a hopeless case. He has learned to get by. Nights of paid passion turn to sheltering warmth from the imminent New York winter. And then there's a suitcase. Pierce's suitcase, which holds secrets from everyone including its owner. When their worlds collide, their lives intertwine and when the world seems bent on bringing the two souls to their knees, fate has other plans for them. Caution: Contains adult language, New York City streets, tough life choices, sexual tension, stubborn brutes and swoon-worthy romance."

by Art-em-is-Free

Pierce (The Brute) is a 20 year old guy with a suitcase. In there, is everything he owns. Rafe (The thief) is a 17 year old in dire need of some money. He has to pay for his own -expensive- medication. The circumstances under which these two characters meet are less than ideal; and this is an understatement. They are both homeless, both gay, both cast out of heir families for who they are.

Ethan's major writing advantage is that he builds characters people care about. This is always a sign of good writing. We are rooting for these guys from the get-go and every obstacle they face only makes us crave their happiness more. Their struggle to get off the streets and build a decent life for themselves is as admirable and heart-warming, as it is desperate. It kept me on the edge of my seat, for sure.

The true strength of the novel, however, lies in the humanity of the story. The unlikely story of two homeless gay guys who meet in the streets of New York and fall in love. Ethan deals with the difficult subject of homelessness in an honest, heartfelt way. The more you dig in their story, the more the two characters seem real and believable.

Romance-wise, the story builds slowly. But it's appropriate, given the circumstances. When it's the time for a well-deserved happy ending, the writer pulls it of in a genious way. However, the way the curtain falls, seems to me, that it should be a bit less on the Hollywood-happy-ending side. No spoilers: but the overabundance of resources - a direct contrast, which is miles away from the point these characters both started, is a bit too much. It would be better, I think, if Pierce and Rafe found their vocation and the story stopped there. Giving them an almost instant success is not very realistic.

The steamy male-to-male sex scenes are very earthy and, honestly, quite cute. There is no graphic sex for the sake of it. Just two young gyus falling in love, doing what guys do! If anyone has a problem with that, you've been warned! Just don't pick up a male-to-male romance if this is not up your alley. I sincerely think the novel deals with the subject in a way that anyone, who is ok with the LGBTQI community in general, can enjoy the reading.

Ethan's story is a self-published effort, so, you should expect a few weak spots here and there, but nothing a good editor wouldn't be able to fix. As I was finishing the story, I kept thinking that it's a real pitty Chris Ethan is not a full-time writer. Considering that he wrote this story and published it himself, the result is truly amazing. I hope Ethan will soon be able to quit his morning job! I can only imagine what wonders he will do by focusing entirely on his writing.

In short: this book's worth your cents! Rating: 3,5 out of 5 stars.

About The Author
Chris Ethan is a book whore. He enjoys selling his feelings for money and other pleasures and is blatantly unashamed to do so for as long as he breathes. Chris Ethan is also a persona for Rhys Christopher Ethan, author of fantasy and sci-fi. He uses Chris Ethan to share stories of adult queer romance with those who need it. Before you delve into his books however, be warned. He likes putting his characters through shitstorms and hates anything conventional. But then there's that darned happy-ever-after. Also, he likes swearing. Deal with it!

You can buy the book here:

AllRomance eBooks

Barnes & Noble




Τρίτη, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2016

My Seven Stages of Infatuation

So, I've been on my own for quite a while, and I recently realized, that to cope with that, my mind has found a funny way to keep the juices flowing and the mind at work.

Inspired by Autostraddle's "The Seven Stages of Carol", here I present you, with my Seven Stages of Infatuation. Have you recently met a girl that you liked? Does this thing I wrote work for you too? Aren't you a dork!

1. Leveling Up
Throughout meeting your new crush, you are unknowingly on an ascent. Perhaps you've felt a slight rocking of the platform, when she laughed at one of your jokes, or at her body language, when she crossed her legs while listening to you tell a story. But it's not until the meeting ends, that you realize how high you climbed. This place, you’ve been here before. It’s spacious and beautiful. Why do you feel so small? The ocean’s like that too, you remember. For now, you’d like to live in this place.

2. Implosion
Also known as "spiraling", this is the emotional comedown. Like drugs, your serotonin levels have been depleted and possibly, you're dehydrated. You've witnessed for yet, another time, in your life, your heart screaming as if she was the first - your heart HAS screamed until it got short of breath, and girl... you are reeeeeeling. Implosion often presents the first time you're confronted with an everyday reality. Maybe, on your way home, after meeting up with her, an image of hers that's louder than any other thought, comes on and breaks your train of thought so abruptly that you scream "OH MY GOD" or maybe, the next day, you're trying to pay a bill and you forget your purse at the counter because you were reminded of the way she smiles. Either way, take heed.

3. Enabling
This is where you feed your emotional captor as a means of survival. Oh, you should watch what she posted on Facebook (JUMP CUT: Three hours later you've exhausted her news feed from the last two months). Remember what she said about her favorite film? Haha, you have to watch this, or you're going to have nothing to say the next time you meet! Should you read that novel she mentioned? Eesh, here are some weird facts about the author on Wikipedia. What's up with her best friend? Show me your friend, and I'll tell you, who YOU are, right? Why doesn't she have a Twitter account? That's ok, what if you could follow her on Tumblr? This photo of hers from last year looks like she asks you to take her home with her. That song she just posted is SO good. Let's listen to it on repeat for about half an hour.

4. Outreach
Soon enough, your engagement with your potential belle becomes too isolated and finding an outlet for your thoughts about her is necessary. Whether it's sending her photo to your best friend to ask for her opinion, or sharing a previous FB chat of yours, with your gay pal, to ask him if he thinks you stand a chance, you'll need to unpack. You'll ask them the questions you've been asking yourself, like, does she sound interested enough? Isn't that comment she made about dildos, like she tried to make a pass at you? Or, do they think you and her are in the same headspace? They probably can't tell, anyway. Sorry!

5. Speculation
Left again to your own devices, you'll have to come up with new ways to indulge. Obviously, the "everybody's gay" game is great for this. Sure, you don't know if she's gay or not, but, like, what if she is? The closest you've ever come to looking at a girl like this, is when one of your co-workers brought in doughnuts for everybody. So sweet. You are completely distracted. Also, this girl has three friends on Facebook that are in the circuit and definitely sleep with women. No way that could be a coincidence!

6. Vizualization
With the passing of time, comes some clarity. You're able to distance yourself from the scrambled intensity you felt since you first saw her, and can now think of her as a concept that you can incorporate into your life. How she is both casual and wild reckless in her proposition to go take a swim together, or how direct and vulnerable she is when she talks about her depressed father. These ideas seem as decadent as someone suggesting you married each other at Las Vegas at a random chapel, but what if the rings looked good on you, too?

7. Anticipation
All of the stages above, are distraction, that you've created for yourself, until you can see her again, which you plan to do tomorrow, as soon as she calls you to set a time to catch up and have that cup of coffee.

Τετάρτη, 6 Ιανουαρίου 2016

Αληθινή ζωή

Η αληθινή ζωή με τρομάζει-
απαιτεί όλον μου τον εαυτό.
Χρόνια βλέπω το ίδιο όνειρο-
εφιάλτης με σπασμένα τα φρένα,
οδηγός δίχως δίπλωμα.

Η πραγματική ζωή με πονάει-
μου θυμίζει ότι το σώμα μου
είναι γεμάτο πληγές.
Η ψυχή μου βλέπεις κάηκε
σε πολλά σημεία
και τώρα φοβάται τον ήλιο.

Χρόνια είχα να γράψω ένα ποίημα.
Έλα να γλύψουμε τις πληγές μας
Κι έτσι όπως θ' αγγίζουμε
η μια την άλλη μες το σκοτάδι
θα βρούμε τον δρόμο να βγούμε στο φως.